Last weekend, I made mongo and spinach soup. I had a lot of left-over spinach that I didn’t want to throw. I was thinking of using them to make Filipino-style corn soup, but I had a better idea. I thought if kimchi, potatoes, green onions and zucchini make appetizing 부침개 (buchimge: Korean pancake), why not spinach?
Buchimge or jeon is a pancake-like appetizer, side dish or dessert in South Korea. It is sometimes called “Korean pizza”. It is often eaten on rainy days, along with 막걸리 (makgeolli: Korean rice wine). It is also served on 제사상 (jesasang: ceremonial table setting for ancestor worship) and 잔치 (janchi: feast).
- spinach (washed, drained and chopped)
- green onions (chopped)
- Ottogi Korean pancake mix or buchimkaru
(You can use any flour, but it’s better to buy pancake mix in the mart specifically made for buchimge or jeon. The pancake mix is already flavored, but I still put a pinch of dashida or instant beef soup stock. ^^)
- Oriental Dressing (for the sauce) (I like my sauce a bit sweet, so I tried using this salad dressing. Trust me, it’s not good only for salad, it makes a great sauce for buchimge, too. ^^)
(Koreans usually use soy sauce. If you prefer soy sauce, add some sesame oil and sesame seeds for better flavor. If you want your sauce spicy, you can put either black pepper or red chilli pepper or gochukaru. Chopped fresh chilli will do.)
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- In a large mixing bowl, put two cups of Korean pancake mix and two cups of water. Add a pinch of dashida. (If you want to shun MSG, just put a little salt.) Mix everything together until the batter thickens (not too thick, though).
- Combine the chopped spinach, green onions and the batter. Mix them well.
- Preheat a pan on medium heat. Pour just enough amount of vegetable oil.
- Using a soup ladle, pour the mixture on the heated pan with oil. Spread out the mixture as thinly and evenly as possible.
- Cook the pancake until golden brown and crispy.
- TIP: When you turn over the pancake, press it a little using a frying ladle or a turner to cook each side of the pancake well.
- REMEMBER: Use only medium heat in frying. Once the pancake is turning golden brown, you can reduce the heat to low. ^^
- While you are waiting for the pancake to cook, you can start making the sauce. I just added half a teaspoon of red chilli pepper into my favorite oriental dressing.
Try this simple Korean pancake recipe. You can add fresh oysters or shrimps if you want. They’re going to make your buchimge even more delicious. ^^
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